“Hefte zur Baukunst”, a series on architecture published by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, traces the history of buildings of historical interest and documents their professional restoration.
The sixth volume in the series allows the reader to explore the former home of the artists Richard and Ida Dehmel which was a popular meeting place for the avant-garde from 1912 onwards. Max Liebermann, Thomas Mann, Richard Strauss, Walther Rathenau, Harry Graf Kessler, Peter Behrens, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Alma Mahler all repeatedly came to visit the “dream couple of the literary scene at the turn of the century” in Blankenese.
Working together with the architect Walther Baedeker (1880–1959), the Dehmels had designed the space where they lived and worked as a Gesamtkunstwerk. The building they created is characterized by its aesthetic ambiguities: on the one hand it exhibits traditional elements, on the other hand unconventional designs anticipating modernity.
Miraculously, the Dehmelhaus with its original furnishings survived the numerous blows of fate suffered by its inhabitants and the disruptions of the 20th century. In 2014–2016, the listed building was expertly restored and fitted out for public use.